Summary: Parents have a duty to raise their children in the Lord!
I would like to read you a story out of Chicken Soup for the Soul written by Michelle Lawrence called “Almie Rose.” Listen.
It was at least two months before Christmas when nine-year-old Almie Rose told her father and mother that she wanted a new bicycle. As Christmas drew nearer,
her desire for a new bicycle seemed to fade, or so the parents thought. They purchased the latest rage, Baby-Sitter’s Club dolls, and a doll house. Then, much to their surprise, on December 23rd, Almie Rose said that she “really wanted a bike more than anything else.”
It was too late, what with all the details of preparing Christmas dinner and buying last-minute gifts, to take the time to select the “best bike” for their little girl. So, Christmas Eve came about and around 9:00 pm Almie Rose nestled in her snug little bed. Her parents could now only think of the bicycle, the guilt, and being parents who would disappoint their child on Christmas day.
“What if I make a little bicycle out of clay and write a note that she could trade the clay model in for a real bike?” her dad asked. The theory being that since this was a high-ticketed item and she is “such a big girl,” it would be much better for her to pick out the bicycle herself. So the father spent the next four hours painstakingly working with clay to create a miniature bicycle.
On Christmas morning, the parents were excited for Almie Rose to open the little heart-shaped package with the beautiful red and white clay bike inside along with the note. Finally, Almie Rose opened it and read the note aloud.
“Does this mean that I can trade in this bike that Daddy made me for a real one?” Beaming, the mother said, “Yes!”
Almie Rose had tears in her eyes when she replied, “I could never trade this beautiful bicycle that Daddy made me. I’d rather keep this than get a real bike” (84-85).
Parenthood! What an experience. Bringing up a child is so challenging, yet rewarding, if done right.
Parents are always worried about the right thing for their children. The right car seat and stroller, the right clothes, the right school, the right bike, the right friends, the right gifts, the right car, the right job, the right college, the right credit card, the right husband, or the right wife, the right house, the right everything to bring them up, except…yes, I said except…
You know, there is something about parents. They are always worried more about the right stuff for their children that, now listen, that they forget the right training... We parents get so wrapped up in raising our children in society that we seem to forget about raising them in God. I bet you’re saying to yourselves, “I bring my kids to church.” “We have prayer time before going to bed,” or “before each meal.” “We have a small devotion everyday.” That’s great, but is this raising your children in the Lord? Let’s do a little test.
Think to yourself now. How often do we parents ask our children how school is going? Raise your hand. How often do you ask how homework is going? Now, no hands, just think about this next question. How often are we asking our children how their relationship with God is?
My point is we tend to ask more about school studies, than Bible studies; more about the day at school, than the few hours at church. It’s mostly, “What did you learn today at school?” rather than “What did you learn today about God?” Or “Make sure you get your homework done or you can’t go out with your friends.” Rather than “Make sure you get your Bible study done, so you can share with your friends.” Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great if you are spending a great deal of time with your children and learning about their lives, but wouldn’t you rather help them learn to live so you can spend eternity with them? So how can we change this? How can we bring our children up in the Lord? Well, luckily the Bible shows parent’s how God wants children brought up. God reveals through His Word three particular duties for parents.
The first is:
I. Parent’s have a duty to teach their children about God. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
Turn with me to the fifth book of the Bible Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 7. It reads, “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
What is the “them” that this verse is talking about? Look at verse 5 and 6 where it states, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” Going back to verse 7, “Impress them on your children.” Impress the commandments on your children. Love the Lord. Impress means to teach with repetition. Love the Lord. We must impress the commandments as soon as our children are old enough to be taught and repeatedly teach them throughout their lives. Love the Lord.